Civil Society Organization Engagement with Government

ACEP’s efforts to strengthen civil society engagement with government focus primarily on increasing leadership and coordination in the civil society sector. As Afghanistan confronts the challenges of the “Transformation Decade” (2015-2024), during which, according to GIRoA planning, foreign forces will withdraw, and Afghanistan consolidates sovereignty and a fully-functioning and sustainable State is in place, greater leadership and coordination between government and civil society will become critical in addressing social-economic problems.

A range of civil society advocacy working groups and networks have been established under ACEP over the last four years including the Advocacy Committee for Persons with Disabilities (ACPD), CSOs-Advocacy Group on the National Budget (CSOs-AGNB), Family Law – Parliamentary Technical Working Group (FL-PTWG) and the Civil Society Joint Working Group (CSJWG).

 

With ACEP support, these groups are playing important roles in enhancing specific laws, regulations and policy decisions. They have represented the voice of Afghan civil society at key at national and international events, helping to bridge the gap between the public and government on priority issues.

ACEP strives to advance leadership, civic mobilization and networking capacities, to promote strong and sustainable CSO representation of public interests in health, education, anti-corruption, and empowerment of youth, women, and persons with disabilities. A strong CSO sector acts as a bridge between the people and the government, supporting transparent legislative change that positively promotes social, political and economic stability.

By October 2018, ACEP’s 27 provincial CSO partners conducted 11,000 civic education sessions in 21 provinces, attended by a total of 313,024 participants (153,956 women, and 159,068 men), and 1,854 community dialogue sessions in 21 provinces, with a total of 54,226 participants (27,524 women, 26,702 men).

Through these sessions, ACEP empowers village and district government representatives to discuss local and provincial issues, and collaboratively identify and initiate community-driven solutions. ACEP connects communities with government authorities at the sub-national and national levels and progresses effective legislation and policy advocacy. The project’s media activities support public access to independent and reliable news and information, amplifies human and civil rights concerns, and focuses upon providing a platform for youth, women and marginalized groups to speak to the nation and the government.